I first bonded with Robert and Suzanne Williams in 1986 on a plane flying to Tokyo for the landmark exhibition American Pop Culture Images Today.
Our friendship was born and led to a phone call in 2002. Robert asked me to come on board to produce a documentary in progress. There was a collection
of footage that had already been shot but was there a film? I had no idea.
What I did know was that I could only say yes. Deep within my soul I knew a film on Robert Williams had to be made - and so the journey began. I collected the right team that had the same passion, dedication and intentions. We wanted to create a film to celebrate the life, the art and the genius world of Robert Williams. This was to be done not only for his fans, but for people to discover this living legend anew. This dedicated filmmaking team realized Robert Williams deserved recognition as a major influential artist of his time.
This team was Mary C. Reese, Michael LaFetra, Doug Blake, Stephen Nemeth and myself. Our film Robert Williams Mr. Bitchin' is an inspiring story of an artist who believed in his vision and against all odds, through years of rejection by the art world, created a movement that led to success not only for himself but for many others to follow.
This film explores Robert's remarkable journey in attaining that success, but it also celebrates California - where originality and trends emerge. The film explores Robert's passion for custom-built hot rods and car culture. It explores Robert's history with Zap Comix, his days working for Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, his controversial "Appetite for Destruction" painting used for the cover and title of the Guns N' Roses album. We also delved into his founding of JUXTAPOZ magazine, and the beautiful interwoven relationship he enjoys with a peer - artist Suzanne Williams, his wife.
What I learned through this documentary process is that when you work with a group of people you love, and you have a subject who is an art hero, a film unfolds itself. Robert is a remarkable talent with a unique perspective of the world; he showers listeners with an endless supply of abstract thoughts that form into words and roll out of his mouth with humor and charm.
We formed a family and made a film of passion, dedication, inspiration, abstract thinking and love--all the things that run wildly through the veins of Robert Williams. It was in fact his blood that fueled us and we were happy to serve as vessels to complete this film.
"I am happy". Robert Williams says in the film.
And so are we.
~Nancye Ferguson, Co-director/Producer